Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

                                                   By Stieg Larsson

      Evil Shall

                           With Evil

                                               Be Expelled

      Henrik Vanger has spent decades trying to find out what happened to his niece Harriet who disappeared into thin air in 1966, finally in one last desperate attempt he enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced journalist.

       Blomkvist moves to sleepy Hedeby Island and soon realises that he is not just the hunter but possibly the hunted.

      I delayed reading this until now because of all the hype it generated along with the motion picture, I don't like to read a book when everybody is raving about it because there's always a danger that it won't live up to the hype. At 542 pages this is quite a big chunk of a book and I have since read a mixed bag of reviews. Some people think it's over complicated and convoluted and obsessed with mundane details. Yes, maybe it isn't the easiest book to read but that's what I love about it. It's a thinking man's novel, it's in many ways an unconventional thriller. I like the fact that it makes your brain work a little harder, I like the fact that the Author goes into lots of small details, I like the fact that I needed two bookmarks instead of one!

      When I first started reading I admit I was a tad weary because I was straight away hit with lots of maps and a complicated family tree on the first few pages. Hence why I needed the multiple bookmarks so that I could keep referring back to them! 

      But there's lots to love in this novel. I love the location, a fictional island off the coast of Sweden, I love the characters and I love the general atmosphere of the story. Because it's hard to describe but some books do have an atmosphere and the atmosphere of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' gets under your skin in a good way. 

      Without wanting to give away the ending, the main story ends with about 90 pages to spare and then we have what can only be described as an 'add on' or a 'wrap up' where all the loose ends are wrapped up. This isn't liked by everyone who has read the book but I kind of liked it, even though it is unconventional. Because this whole novel is unconventional, but in a great way.

       Sadly Stieg Larsson never lived long enough to see his books in print and because I don't speak Swedish I won't ever know how much this translation by Reg Keeland differs from the originally penned story. So we have to give some credit to Reg for bringing 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' to the public's attention. Now I just have to watch the movie and read the rest of the books in the Millenium Trilogy. I'm not a big thriller fan but this one is good.

       Fantastic 5/5

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